Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Contempt: Would a local paper get away with this?

Northern Echo editor Peter Barron was quoted in MediaGuardian yesterday about the confusion surrounding the contempt of court laws for the press once there has been an arrest.

He said: "I'm sure editors all around the country are licking their finger, putting it in the air and wondering whether they're going to get away with stuff. If the nationals are going to come on to your patch and push the boundaries there will also be a temptation [for the local papers] to push them, because you'll think, 'If I don't do this then the Sun will'. You don't want to be left behind."

Wonder what he thinks of today's Sun interview with Jade Coles who claims "her fella Rob Fitzgerald punched Stevenage footballer Scott Laird watched by millions on TV after a match on Saturday".

She says: "I haven't been in a relationship with Scott now for two or three years but Rob knows about it. Scott was a player and I don't mean on the pitch. He was a bit of a ladies' man. Rob was at the game celebrating the victory on the pitch. He saw Scott celebrating and just lost his temper. He'd been drinking and that's why it happened. He was being protective. It was a moment of madness."

The Sun adds: "Blonde Jade, from Letchworth, spoke after Rob, 24, was arrested on suspicion of assault. She went on: 'I'm not going to say anymore as Rob is giving a statement to police'."

  • Peter Barron has asked on his blog: "Is contempt of court a thing of the past - or is it only local editors who feel the heat?"

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